Farecast builds blog buzz to spread word about new site

Farecast.com is a new, free Web site that gives users information on the best time to buy tickets for a specific trip and where the best fare can be found.

Farecast.com is a new, free Web site that gives users information on the best time to buy tickets for a specific trip and where the best fare can be found.

Farecast.com is not a booking site, but instead, using its proprietary technology, directs its users to the airline sites that offer the best fares. "It helps you make more informed decisions on when and where to buy airline tickets," said Anne Taylor Hartzell, president and founder of Anne Taylor Communications (ATC). She added that the newly launched Web site is looking to become a widely recognized name in the mainstream media.

Idea: ATC began working with the company about a year ago. The site is hoping to compete with existing ones, such as Expedia.com and Kayak.com, while offering a similar service with a twist. "What we found with consumers is that most people do a variety of different searches with the Web sites, and they then end up buying directly from the airlines," explained Hartzell. "We are offering something that simplifies that process for the consumer."

Tools: The site began beta testing in May and went live to two test markets, Boston and Seattle, in June. The agency focused its communications outreach on bloggers, using the Web for word-of-mouth marketing. "During our beta testing, 40% of the traffic was generated by blogs," Hartzell said. "Awareness in the blog community has helped catapult the site into mainstream media."

Measurement: The success of Farecast.com's launch will be measured through media hits and traffic to the Web site.

Organization: Farecast
Campaign: Farecast.com launch
PR team: Anne Taylor Communications
Other marketing: Web advertising
Launched: Week of August 21
Budget: Undisclosed

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